Every year Christmas tree fires injure more than 2,500 people in America, according to the United States Fire Administration. Even when they’re seemingly safe in a cozy and beautifully decorated living room, Christmas trees can trigger serious allergies to mold.
But this doesn’t have to be the case. No one should have to be Mr. Scrooge during the holidays. Christmas trees are beautiful and potent and bring warm cozy feelings.
With instructions on how to safely place a Christmas tree and what precautions to take, readers and parents can rest assured knowing the tree won’t pose harm to their children. Additionally, people who have allergies but still want to decorate a tree can abide by the following helpful tips to prevent or minimize allergy symptoms.
According to the USFA, two out of five home decor fires are started by candles and one of every 31 Christmas tree fires results in death. Many of these tragic results can be prevented in the future, however.
First, understand that natural trees need water to live. Thus, when they’re brought in a home, it’s important to maintain water levels at the base. When trees dry, they are more likely to catch fire. Keeping this in mind:
- Try to purchase a fresh, well-maintained tree that isn’t close to death. Check for branch strength and a vibrant green color.
- Cut the base of the tree at a 45-degree angle for longer lifespan.
Check to see where Christmas trees are grown because typically locally-grown trees are the freshest.
Second, remember to keep heat sources away from the tree. The USFA recommends a safe proximity of at least three feet.
Third, check the condition of your Christmas tree lights. Old strands that have frayed or split wires are more likely to cause fire and pose serious danger.
Fourth, the USFA recommends keeping candles at least one foot away from potentially flammable items. Try to find a stable holder for the candles to avoid spillage. If possible, use battery-operated candles. These candles have long lifespans and are much safer.
Fifth, ensure your fire alarm is functioning properly before bringing the Christmas tree in doors.
Sixth, do not keep the tree in the house longer than necessary. Putting up and taking down the tree at proper times is important because the longer the tree stands, the drier it becomes. Not only does this lead to increased flammability, as mentioned above, but it can also lead to a flare-up in allergy symptoms.
To prevent allergies, be sure to brush off the tree to remove dust. Then, rinse the tree off outside and allow it to air-dry before bringing inside. Trees can carry mold and disease that may not be fatal but could certainly pose health risks to those with sensitive allergies.
Abiding by these tips will lead to a healthier and safer holiday season. It’s important to note, however, that there are always unexpected dangers that can occur. Practice caution when deciding where to place the tree (hopefully not near the fireplace!), and keep track of any allergy symptoms that seem more severe than normal.